This blog follows the previous post, Bad Faith Insurance in South Carolina: Part 2 .
As explained in Part 2, there are several types of damages available to an insured for a first-party real estate insurance bad faith claim in South Carolina. Part 2 covered the availability of law firms for incredible acts. This blog will cover other damages that are available, namely consequential damages and punitive damages.
While access to lawyers' fee debiting in incredible documents exists according to law (SC City. § 38-59-40), case law helps to provide rules for damages such as consequential and punitive damages.
The original case that described the availability of both consequential and punitive damages in acts in South Carolina in bad faith is Nichols v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company . 1
In Nichols, the insured filed a valid insurance claim, but after the insurance company's unreasonable refusal to pay, the jury awarded Nichols actual and criminal damages based on the insurer's harmful conduct.
Nichols Court recognized that an insurance contract contained an "implied union of good faith and fair trade" and in its holding stated:
We consider today that if an insured n show bad faith or unreasonable conduct on the part of the insurer in dealing with a claim under their mutually binding insurance contract, he may recover consequential damages in a claim for damages. Real damages are not limited by the agreement. Furthermore, if he can show that the insurer's actions were intentional or in ruthless violation of the policyholder's rights, he can recover punitive damages. 2
It follows that in South Carolina, if an insurance company refuses in bad faith to pay an insurance valid claim, the insurer may be liable for actual, consequential and punitive damages.
Several cases in South Carolina continued and expanded Nichol's holdings. A special case is Carter v. American Mutual Fire Insurance Company which involved an insured whose home and personal belongings were destroyed in a fire. 3 The insurance company refused to compensate Carter for any of his loss and, after filing a claim of bad faith refusing to pay insurance benefits, the trial court upheld the defendant's dissolution because the sole obligation the insurance company owed was was contractual.
In an appeal, the Court of Appeal appealed on the basis of the Nichols holding, stating that “if an insured person can show bad faith or unreasonable refusal by an insurer to pay benefits from the first party under an insurance contract, he may recover compensation damages that are not limited to the contract. . "The court also stated that if the insured could" show [that] the insurer's actions were intentional or in ruthless violation of the insured's rights, he [ould] recovered punitive damages. " 4
In summary, South Insurance Carolina who has committed wrongdoing by an insurance company will have various damages that can be recovered if they decide to sue, in addition to recovering attorney's fees, policyholders who can prove that the insurer acted in bad faith may also receive compensation for consequential and punitive damages.
Unlike compensation damages that try to make kä the whole thing again, punitive damages are meant to punish bad behavior, which means that a punitive damages are likely to be large. But, as mentioned, before a policyholder can recover penal damages, they must show that where the insurer's actions were intentional or in ruthless violation of their rights; which will require evidence of bad faith.
1 Nichols v. State Farm Mut. Car. Ins. Co. 279 S.C. 336, 340 S.E.2d 616 (1983).
2 Id. at 340.
3 Carter v. Am. Mut. Fire Ins. Co. 307 S.E.2d 225, 226 (S.C. 1983).